One of the problems with running an organisation, any organisation, is that for that organisation to be successful long term it needs to have an iconic form of leadership displayed by the person in charge.

You cannot be a weak leader.

And you cannot be seen to be incongruous with the message you are trying to send to your organisation. 

Weak leaders convey weak messages.

Their messages are sent without conviction and without consequence and follow up.

Accountability is waived.

And when this happens, then acts of anarchy start to become accepted.

Initially these acts are sporadically placed, but as time goes on they become more regular.

And more frequent.

Weak leaders get spoken about [in a negative manner] behind their own backs.

Weak leaders do not command the respect of those they lead.

Weak leaders only draw contempt from those they seek to rule.

And that provides little foundation for success. In fact, it creates the expectation of underperformance and of failure.

With weak leaders there is incongruity in the message they convey.

And there is also incongruity in messages that they purvey.

This second incongruity occurs when a message is purveyed by the leader, and then by their own actions, the leader behaves in a manner that is incongruous with the behaviour just previously requested and expected.

My friend Shep Hyken wrote this week about the problems caused by incongruent leadership.

He said that when, for example, we see leadership complaining  about customers, what we latter see in that organisation is a granting of permission for employees to do the same. 

And a domino effect is created. 

Shep said that employees seek guidance from their leadership and look at them as role models. 

He said that when leadership in an organisation talks poorly about a customer, it will soon follow that employees will soon talk about the customers in a similar way.

Shep said that in the professional world, we learn to embody our company’s core values by watching organisation leaders set an example.

I agree with Shep when he said that leadership sets the tone. This is because leaders are the role models for the rest of the employees. 

Leaders can’t demonstrate an attitude of:

“Do as I say, not as I do.” 

This is so true.

Everyone’s eyes and ears are focused on their leadership. 

And even if you aren’t a president or CEO of a company, you still can take a stance and set the standard for how you want those around you to behave.

Don’t be incongruous.

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Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

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